October 8, 2015

Stephen Harper has claimed he won’t use procedural tricks to stay in power after Election Day if the Conservatives fall short of any of the other parties by even one seat. Here's the problem: arguing that “the party that wins the most seats in our system forms the government” is itself a procedural trick. Why? Because it’s not true.

Let’s be clear: Harper is misleading Canadians about how Parliament works and he’s likely doing it to cling to power in the event the Conservatives don’t win a majority of seats in October.

Maxwell Cameron, the Director of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Institutions, has just released an important paper on this called Trust and Confidence: Post-Election Cooperation in Parliament.

October 8, 2015
Today marks the launch of a new collection of texts, Acting on Climate Change, Extending the Dialogue Amongst Canadians, about how Canada can transition to a low carbon society and economy. 
The collection of texts brings together the experiences of 28 individuals and groups from a wide variety of viewpoints responding to a report released earlier this year by scholars which found Canada can achieve  100% low carbon electricity production in 2035.  
I was happy to work on a submission on behalf of the Council of Canadians. Our chapter looks at their report through a social justice lens, drawing on our experience understanding the connections between trade, water and climate justice. The chapter also focuses on the benefits of pursuing renewable energy under public and community ownership. 
October 8, 2015

ISDS 101 infographic

While the full text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is not likely to be released until November 5 or later, we do know from various media reports that the 12-country agreement that encompasses more than 40 per cent of the global economy includes an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) provision.

In short, ISDS gives corporations the power to sue national governments for lost future profits related to public interest legislation, most commonly focused on the protection of the environment. This provision is known as Chapter 11 in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and it's present in the yet to be ratified Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and is the subject of debate and proposals to reform in the United States-European Union Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

October 7, 2015

Last night in Toronto there was a public meeting about a proposal to build a nuclear waste dump in the Kincardine, Ontario area- less than a kilometre from the shores of Lake Huron.  

The meeting was organized by our friends at Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump:

Here is some background on the proposed project from their website: